I typically like to keep up with what is going on in the world, but lately I just can’t handle watching or reading the news or any social media related to it.

I get it, negativity sells. But the reality is that consuming this inordinate amount of negative news only serves to breed hate, fear and discontent. I believe it’s a contributing factor to the record levels of anxiety and loneliness around the world. Our daily diet of negative input is an addiction that we can’t seem to break.

Connected to this is our declining communication with one another.  We seem to have shifted from challenging and respectfully disagreeing with ideas to attacking the person stating them.

Nowhere is this more evident than on social media.  People now seem to think it’s perfectly normal and appropriate to chastise and belittle one another rather than try to understand different perspectives; viewpoints that could inform and develop their own or elevate their thinking. And they are getting their lead from many of our global leaders; individuals who are supposed to be a source of inspiration.

Having just released a book about capacity building, a framework to lift up both yourselves and others, it’s become increasingly difficult to watch these engagements. What keeps me optimistic is people like Will Erlandson. After reading last week’s Friday Forward, he posted a note on LinkedIn thanking everyone who helped him Elevate and build his capacity in his career.

I loved the idea so much, I copied it today.

We have a choice about how we use our energy. We can decide to be someone who knocks people down or lifts them up.

We also have a choice about which type of person we choose to give our attention to. It can be very difficult to ignore the people who told us we couldn’t do something or who tried to get in our way toward something better. They are often the source of the proverbial chip on our shoulder.

But what about the parent, teacher, coach, volunteer or mentor who did the opposite? The ones who believed in us, pushed us and helped us to get better?

What if we all spent more time focusing on those people and honoring their contributions to our lives instead of giving our time and attention to those who seem to get their energy from degrading and condemning others?

So, here is a simple ask for this week. Think about the people who helped you elevate in some way and then do one of the following:

  1. Send them a note thanking them.
  2. Send them an e-mail or text thanking them.
  3. Tag them on social media with the hashtag #whohelpedyouelevate? and use the following banner in your post.

My hope is that this small gesture might set off a positive chain reaction and create more awareness about the need and value of elevating others.

We are all better when we get better together.


Quote of The Week

“We rise by lifting others.”


-Robert Ingersoll